New England Soccer Today

Jones Returns to Midfield, Subbed Early

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After starting four straight games at center back, Jermaine Jones made his return to midfield in the New England Revolution’s 1-1 draw against Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium on Saturday Night.

Jones pushed up from the back to his normal center midfielder spot as Jose Goncalves retuned to the starting lineup for the first time since picking up a knock against Columbus in early April.

“With Jose, he trained really well this week and we wanted to give a different look in the midfield against what we thought was a pretty dynamic midfield in Toronto’s,” head coach Jay Heaps said of the move. “Jermaine had a little bit of knock early this week and missed a little bit of training time so with so many games coming up we wanted to be smart.”

Jones didn’t go the full 90 against Toronto after being subbed off in the 63rd minute with the game tied. Heaps noted a “combination” of factors leading to Jones’ departure and said that subs Andy Dorman and Kelyn Rowe “added freshness.”

“Sometimes you need to shake it up to get things going in the right direction and I thought we did that at the right time.”

Jones feelings on the substitution remain to be seen. Jones, who continued to wear the captain’s armband this week despite the return of Goncalves, headed right to the locker room after being taken off. After the game, Jones, who has typically always talked to reporters since joining New England, declined to speak to the media.

In his 60-plus minutes of action, Jones had 50 touches on the ball and completed 79.1% of his 43 passes but was held without a shot.

A little over 10 minutes into the game, Jones got tangled up with fellow USMNT teammate Jozy Altidore on a corner. While Chris Tierney sent in a cross, the two clashed with Altidore ending up on the turf. The corner sailed harmlessly to Toronto goalie Chris Konopka.

It’s just the second time that Jones has been subbed off this season. In his first game back this year, Jones went the first 45 minutes against Columbus before coming off at halftime. The last time Jones came off in the second half in the regular season was in the Revolution’s 2014 finale, also against Toronto.

On another note, it was Jones’ fifth straight game wearing the captain’s armband. Goncalves took the armband back when Jones departed in the second half. Heaps did not say it was a permanent switch but rather depends on the situation.

“For me, we have a lot of good leaders on this team,” Heaps said. “For me it’s really a team kind of concept of who wears it and when they wear it. Tonight we thought it would be good for Jermaine with his experience. But at the same time, I look at guys like [Chris] Tierney and Dorman and Jermaine and Jose and guys that have been in there for a while and all good leaders.”

New England has a quick turnaround and will be back in action on Wednesday with a trip to Sporting Park to take on Sporting KC at 8:00.

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